Ady has been down helping at a friends’ house this week during the mornings leaving the kids and I to our own devices. We’ve done various things with this time but today the sun was shining and I was up for a bit of time to myself, just me and Bonnie to enjoy the croft in the sunshine. Dragon and Star stayed in the static to do some tidying of bedrooms / playing while the dog and I set off with some empty punnets to fill with blackberries. We ended up being out for nearly two hours and it was just blissful.
The sun was shining, the sky was blue, it was crisp and clear with a nip in the air but enough warmth still in the sun to keep it enjoyable to be out in. As Bonnie and I scrambled over a fence (from the outside of our croft to the inside I hasten to add, no trespassing!) I experienced one of those moments of pure happiness and being in precisely the perfect place at the perfect time. A freeze framed moment to keep safe in a bubble preserved forever.
One of the things I have noticed about our fellow islanders is their love and respect for Rum. Noone here just views the island as the place where they live, it is not just a postcode, just your address or your neighbourhood. No one is here with grand plans to ‘get away from this place’. In this respect it is so very different to anywhere else I have ever lived. The same goes for people’s jobs here – no one is biding time, hanging out til something better comes along or moaning about wanting to leave and looking for a different job. It’s simple, everyone is here because this is where they want to be. When it stops being where they want to be then they leave. Life is tough enough here for it to only work if this is truly where you want to be.
When Ady and I got married, in a Las Vegas wedding chapel (no, not by Elvis!) it was by a very American ‘preacher man’ type guy who struggled with my name (in America they don’t have the name ‘Nicola’ – it’s Nicole, so he kept calling me ‘Nicole-ah’) and clearly performed hundreds of ceremonies, conveyor belt style every week. But he did take the time to chat to us before the service, learn a little about us and discover why we were there to get married and what it meant to us. As we slid our wedding rings onto each others’ fingers he told us ‘never let them only mean you’re married’. It’s a phrase that 13 years on I still think of regularly. Every time I fiddle with my wedding ring, or feel Ady’s ring as we walk hand in hand, or scrape dried on bread dough from mine after I’ve baked bread I am reminded of that. Our wedding rings are not just a physical reminder that we are married, they are a symbol of being married to each other, a little piece of each other that we wear with us every single moment, awake and asleep, in sickness and in health, even when we are annoyed or cross with each other, together or apart.
Today in my moment of walking up our hill (those who live here or have visited will know about our hill…), Bonnie by my side, a full four punnets of brambles ready to be made in to jam in the bag over my shoulder, sun shining down, panoramic view all around I was reminded about never taking this forgranted, never letting it only be where I live. To always feel the wonder, the awe and the excitement of this being where I get to call my home.